Ian Wright has admitted that Arsenal’s midfield could struggle to cope with the creativity and the sharpness that Tottenham Hotspur boast of in the middle of the park.
Jose Mourinho seems to have found the right formula in the middle of the park over the last few weeks, with Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sitting deep and protecting the back four while Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane are tasked with the creative burden.
It is a formula that has worked perfectly for Tottenham and Wright admits that Mikel Arteta will find it difficult to stop Tottenham using the options he has at his disposal.
He suggested that Jose Mourinho’s men will look to go for the jugular in the North London derby on Sunday.
The former Arsenal striker said on the Wrighty’s House Podcast: “When I look at Arsenal and what Tottenham are doing now, and Tottenham’s frame of mind now, this is a game where they’ll say we don’t want a point in this game.
“I don’t even know what he [Arteta] is going to play, because you look at Xhaka and Ceballos, and what Bielsa did to them when he put (Mateusz) Klich to push them even further back, it’s like Tottenham, if they do anything like that then they will have all that space to play in.
“Kane will drop into it, what’s going to happen with Hojbjerg? Hojbjerg is one of the most successful passers in the league at the moment, so is Lacazette going to play to drop on to him? I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
Wright also admitted that he was quite worried about how the Gunners will cope with the likes of Ndombele, Son and Bergwijn, who will look to run at the Arsenal defence, particularly given their struggles when coming up against similar players over recent weeks.
The Arsenal legend added: “I am intimidated by this Spurs side at the moment, simply because when you look at what happened to us with Villa, with someone like Grealish who can run with the ball.
“Look at Son who can run with the ball, Bergwijn, Ndombele, somebody who, Ndombele when he got into that space against City, and then he just flicked that pass, he’s got amazing ability, he’s got fantastic ability, and he can run with the ball. He’s a very strong, intelligent player.”
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Mikel Arteta’s side will come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and likely pack their defence. Mourinho will have to modify the way we approach this game compared to the way he set us up against Chelsea and Manchester City, even if he starts with the same personnel. Wright is spot on when he says that someone like Ndombele, who can run with the ball and take players out of the game, could be key to unlocking the Arsenal defence.
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